Pornography Offends Against The Divine Plan For The Body
Reflections from the US Catholic Bishops Statement on overcoming the exploitation of sex and violence in communications

Michael D. Pfeifer
Reproduced with Permission

The Christian understanding of the body and sexuality is rooted scripturally in the creation accounts in the Book of Genesis that describe God's loving creation of the body into which God breathes a life-giving spirit. The human race thus brought into existence is revealed as created by God to be both male and female.

Pornography offends against the divine plan for the body and for the intimacy of sexual union. It fixates on certain normal bodily functions in an immodest and obsessive way. By putting on display both bodily functions normally kept private and acts of sexual intimacy, which belong properly to the love of husband and wife, pornography violates the respect due the body and robs sexual intimacy of its intrinsic meaning and purpose.

In addition, those who produce pornography, distribute it, or view it are all gravely injured by the harm done to their human dignity. Whatever rationalizations may be used, each of these, in a different way, becomes degraded into an object trapped in a system for procuring illicit pleasure and profit.

The evils of behavior or character that result from pornography are:

In dealing with pornography, it is important not to treat only the symptoms. As an illegitimate response to legitimate desires for emotional and physical intimacy, pornography must find its remedy in a conversion to an understanding of the body and sexuality found in their intrinsic meaning as well as in revelation. This conversion culminates in an active witness to the dignity of our embodied existence.

Isolating sexuality from a moral context and using it to titillate or degrade others for one's own profit or pleasure is always wrong.